McEvoy expecting Sunlight to shine
TRAINER Tony McEvoy will be heading to Randwick on Saturday knowing he will be happy with just about any result with his mare Sunlight.
The Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) is the first race this spring that will feature at least two Everest runners with The Shorts (September 21) and the Premiere Stakes (October 5) the other main lead-ups.
Sunlight will meet two other confirmed Everest runners in Redzel and Pierata in the Concorde Stakes while Nature Strip, Graff and Zoustyle will be looking to win the race and put forward their Everest prospects to remaining slot holders.
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McEvoy has watched on with a smile on his face as his multiple Group 1-winning mare has cruised to two trial wins.
She has finished no worse than third at four first-up runs but has only won once.
"She's in great order, is interested and happy so she's done everything right leading up to this race," he said.
"I've expected her to win at all of her first-up runs and she can't seem to do it.
The slot-holders will be pretty happy after #TheTABEverest 🏔️ contenders Sunlight @mcevoymitchell and Classique Legend @carmelsize looked great in their trial this morning. Check out the @tabcomau market for the big race @royalrandwick on Oct 19 👉https://t.co/DnDkx8A4Ea. pic.twitter.com/eIWSMFwY3n— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) August 26, 2019
"She runs well but doesn't win. She ran third in a Lightning first-up, which is pretty good, then she gets better and better and better as her preparation goes on."
With the $14 million The Everest on October 19 at Royal Randwick the main goal, McEvoy and his new training partner, son Calvin, will take a "can't lose" attitude into Saturday's race, where Nature Strip is expected to start favourite.
Sunlight is on the second line of betting at $4.20.
"I'm not sure if she can win or not but I expect her to be very competitive," McEvoy said. "It's not about this race for her even though she's there to win it.
"If she doesn't win it, we won't be panicking. It (result) doesn't change anything for us but it's a part of the plan and she'll find form once she gets closer to The Everest.
"It's very exciting. I'm really looking forward to it and I'm pinching myself knowing I've got one good enough to be in it."
McEvoy will have an extra spring in his step as he and his 24-year-old son Calvin go into this spring as co-trainers.
"He showed me when he was in high school that this is the career path he wanted," McEvoy said. "I still had to wait to see if he had what it takes.
"Just because he's my son doesn't make him good at it. He's been making some very good decisions and giving me good advice about my horses.
"Gee, it would be exciting to win The Everest together. I remember when Colin Hayes handed things over to David, he won a Cox Plate and Japan Cup (with Better Loosen Up)."